Who will speak for you? – National Healthcare Decision Day

Who will speak 2

Advanced directives – a call to action!

I have been a nurse for over 15 years now – most of it spent in critical care areas. I have seen lots of people expire and pass on. Often it is a sad moment – a life taken too soon. There are also those rare deaths that are just beautiful – a peaceful transition. But, the saddest and hardest part for me is not the death, but it is when the family is left with decisions they were not prepared to make. In our society we are not accustom to speaking about death – its very taboo. We all know it is going to happen, however, we just don’t want to talk about it. So, sadly, what often happens is a loved one becomes critically ill and end of life decisions need to be made. Hopefully, those critical conversations have been had, and the decisions are clear. But, unfortunately, that is not always the case. Often, loved ones are left with the pressing question, “what would they have wanted?”. It is heart wrenching to watch a child have to make those decisions for an aging parent.

Today is National Healthcare Decision Day – this day was set aside to encourage people to speak up and have those conversations! It is reported that 90% of Americans have thought about end of life decision, however only 29% actually have a living will. It starts with a conversation. When you are unable to speak, who will speak for you? Will they know what to say?

Today is the day to have the conversation.

A call to action!

  1. Think about what decisions you would want at the end of your life.
  2. Decide on a Substitute Decision Maker and talk with them about your decisions.
  3. Talk to you other family members so they know how you feel also.
  4. Write it down! Although it is not iron clad – at least your wishes will be known. These are often referred to as “advanced directives”.
  5. Tell your health care provider.

For more information please visit http://www.nhdd.org/ for more information and tips. There are also copies of advanced directive forms under the public relations link.

Leave me a comment if you were called to action! Be brave and take this loving step for your family!

Please share with everyone you know!

17 thoughts on “Who will speak for you? – National Healthcare Decision Day

  1. This is a great idea. I know that my husband and I have had short, “What would happen if…” conversations, but in all honesty I wouldn’t know what he’d want if he passed before me. Also, having something in writing, whether officially or not, at least gives your loved ones a task, something to do for you in remembrance of you. Now, where to store that document so it is found is another obstacle…

    • Thanks for visiting! I am so happy you are at least thinking about it and having the conversation. Please let me known if I can answer any questions!

  2. Great point. As a military family we have made such decisions for my husband, but I’m afraid not myself. Definately something I should do as well. I’ve thought about it but that just isn’t enough.

  3. It’s definitely a taboo subject. My dad passed very suddenly, and we were stuck in the situation of doing what we thought he would want. It was a tough time, but these conversations are so important, even if no one wants to talk about them. Good to know you are here advising people on these sorts of decisions! Happy SITS day!

    • Sorry to hear of your dad…. it always makes me sad to see families in that difficult situation. Thanks for stopping by and your kind words! And please feel free to share!

  4. Hi, visiting you via the SITS girls. That is an interesting post and topic. Let me give you real life example of the need to have a plan. I am a Christian and years ago I went to work for a small ministry led by a young pastor and his wife in the aftermath of their tragic and sudden death, as his brother sought to pick up the pieces and continue with their special work.
    The young couple had died in a plane crash. before they went on their trip, he had scribbled a quick note, “If something were to happen to me, this is what I want the family to do with the ministry, etc.” He didn’t think something would go wrong, but this quick provision made all the difference in the world for his grieving family…

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